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  • Author or Editor: Erwin G. Pearson x
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Summary

Of 41 equids referred to a veterinary teaching hospital in the Pacific northwest because of dyspnea and inspiratory noise, 3 ponies were diagnosed as having liver failure, most likely attributable to pyrroliziding alkaloid toxicosis. Dyspnea appeared to be caused by laryngeal and/or pharyngeal paralysis. It is proposed that this paralysis was a manifestation of hepatic encephalopathy. Although these clinical signs are not common for pyrrolizidine toxicosis, practitioners should be aware of the possibility so that misdiagnosis of other causes of inspiratory dyspnea may not be made.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical, clinicopathologic, and postmortem abnormalities in New World camelids with pancreatic necrosis.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—10 llamas and 1 alpaca.

Procedures—Medical records of animals in which a diagnosis of pancreatic necrosis had been made on the basis of histologic examination of necropsy specimens or on the basis of clinical signs and results of clinicopathologic testing were reviewed.

Results—The initial owner complaint varied, and various other conditions were diagnosed. Clinical and clinicopathologic abnormalities were vague. Amylase activity was higher in abdominal fluid than in serum in 5 of 7 animals, and lipase activity was higher in abdominal fluid than in serum in all 7. Four animals survived, and 7 died or were euthanatized. Only 1 of the animals that died had marked inflammation of the pancreatic parenchyma. All 7 had necrosis and saponification of fat in and surrounding the pancreas.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that pancreatic necrosis may develop in New World camelids, but clinical signs are vague, and the condition may easily be confused with other diseases. The only laboratory test that appeared to be helpful in the antemortem diagnosis of pancreatic necrosis was comparison of amylase and lipase activities in abdominal fluid and serum. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:241–244)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the potential of excess dietary iron to cause hepatic lesions similar to those described in horses with suspected iron toxicosis or hemochromatosis.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—6 adult male ponies.

Procedure—4 ponies received 50 mg of iron/kg (22.7 mg/lb) of body weight each day by oral administration of ferrous sulfate, which contained 20% elemental iron; 2 ponies received only the carrier (applesauce). Complete blood counts, serum biochemical analyses, and hepatic tissue biopsies were performed, and serum iron concentrations were measured. Blood and tissue samples were obtained at days 0 and 2, and at the end of weeks 1, 3, 6, and 8 after administration of iron was initiated. Treatment was discontinued after 8 weeks, and hepatic iron concentrations were measured at 28 weeks.

Results—Hepatic iron concentrations, serum iron concentrations, percentage saturation of transferrin, and serum ferritin concentrations were increased, compared with baseline and control concentrations, by week 8. Adverse clinical signs or histologic lesions in the liver were not detected in any ponies. At 28 weeks, hepatic iron concentrations had decreased.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Histologic lesions were not seen in the hepatic biopsy specimens obtained from the ponies treated with ferrous sulfate. It was concluded that it would be unlikely for iron toxicosis to develop in adult ponies or horses during a period of < 8 weeks when food or water contained increased amounts of iron. It is suspected that previous reports of hepatopathies in animals with hemosiderin accumulation may represent a primary hepatopathy with secondary hemosiderin accumulation, especially if the only source of iron is via oral consumption. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218: 400–404)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

Serum total bile acid concentrations were determined for various types and ages of cattle. There was extreme variability among all the cattle, but the variance was twice as large (0.50 vs 0.22 in logarithmic scale) for beef cattle than for dairy cattle. There was no significant difference in serum total bile acid concentrations between beef cattle and dairy cattle in midlactation. Values for calves < 6 weeks old and for 6-month-old heifers were significantly (P = < 0.05) lower than values for lactating dairy cows. The 5th to 95th percentile range of values (μmol/L) for beef cattle was 9 to 126; for lactating dairy cattle, 15 to 88; and for 6-month-old dairy heifers, 11 to 64.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Twelve nonlactating dairy cows, free of signs of liver disease and with normal serum activities of liver-derived enzymes and normal liver biopsy tissue, were examined over a 72-hour period for serum total bile acid concentrations. The cattle were fed hay twice daily, and blood samples were obtained every hour for 24 hours, every other hour for 24 hours, then every hour for 24 hours. After 3 weeks, the study was repeated on 6 of the cattle, thus providing data for eighteen 72-hour periods. Serum bile acid concentration varied greatly over the 72 hours, with the range being from one third to 3 times the median. There were variations by as much as 60 μmol/L from 1 hour to the next. After another 3 weeks, 8 of the cattle were deprived of hay for 48 hours and then fed hay morning and afternoon of the third (last) day of the study. There was no significant reduction in bile acid concentration after withholding the hay, but the variability was reduced (P = 0.02) during the last 20 hours of the hay-deprivation period.

In 3 ancillary studies, serum bile acid concentrations were examined over a 48-hour period in 2 cows in early lactation, 3 cows in midlactation, and two 6-month-old heifers. The cows were fed hay and grain twice daily, and the heifers were fed only hay twice daily. In comparison with values for the 12 nonlactating cows fed hay twice daily, mean serum bile acid concentration in the recently freshened cows was significantly (P < 0.002) higher (62.9 vs 22.0 μmol/L). The cows in midlactation had hourly fluctuations as great as 65 μmol/L. Values for the heifers varied less than values in older cattle.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective—

To evaluate the efficacy of tests for hepatic disease in young calves

Design—

Prospective case-control study.

Animals—

28 clinically normal calves and 47 calves with histologically proven hepatic disease.

Procedure—

Liver function tests and serum activity of liver-derived enzymes were determined on 28 clinically normal calves at birth and at 2 weeks of age. These values were compared with the results from 47 calves with hepatic disease verified by histologic examination. Upper limit of confidence interval was determined for the results on the clinically normal calves, and Student's t-test was used to identify significant differences in the data from calves of various age-groups.

Results—

None of the results of the common tests for liver damage or function (measurement of bilirubin, γ-glutamyltransferase, glutamate dehydrogenase [ gmd], alkaline phosphatase, L-Iactate dehydrogenase, aspartate transaminase, or alanine transaminase) were clinically useful when used alone for detection of hepatic disease in calves less than 6 weeks old. Sensitivity of γ-glutamyltransferase, gmd, aspartate transaminase, and alkaline phosphatase as indicators of hepatic disease in this population of calves was 0, 59, 80, and 9%, respectively. Direct bilirubin (sensitivity, 87%) was more sensitive than total bilirubin (sensitivity, 66%). Serum enzyme activity of most enzymes (P < 0.01), total bilirubin concentration (P < 0.001), and sulfobromophthalein sodium clearance half-life were significantly higher (P < 0.001) in newborn calves than in 2-week-old calves.

Clinical Implications—

Clinical findings that indicate hepatic disease in calves that are less than 6 weeks old could be confirmed by measurement of serum activity of gmd or concentrations of total serum bile acids or direct bilirubin. Percutaneous liver biopsy may still be needed and may provide the most information.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association